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Pictured is Colten Gill, a junior SAEM student and summer intern for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. | Photo by Victoria A. Mikula

Meet Colten Gill

Internship: Marketing and Special Events Intern, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
Sports, Arts, and Entertainment Management
Expected graduation: May 2017
Hometown: Renfrew, Pa.
High school: Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School
College activities: Honors Program and incoming vice president of marketing for the Campus Activities Board
Hobbies/Interests: Acting, exploring Pittsburgh and kayaking
Twitter: @coltengill
LinkedIn: Colten Gill

How did you land an internship with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership?

Luckily, I was able to connect with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership at the SAEM Career Event this past spring. Although I was nervous at first, I found confidence in talking to various employers about arts and entertainment management based on what I've learned in my classes. PDP was one of the last tables I visited, and I'm so glad I did. I have a real passion for Pittsburgh and really loved hearing about the organization's mission. They are a large reason why Downtown has improved so much.

I also learned that the experiences I've had on the Campus Activities Board aligned perfectly with what my duties would be as PDP's marketing and special events intern so I handed them my cover letter and resume and it took off from there. I followed up with some writing samples and was fortunate to make it through two rounds of interviews before being chosen. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to be applying all the knowledge and skills I've gained from my SAEM professors.

Tell us about the work you do as a marketing and special events intern.

I do different things each day. On the marketing side, I work with the marketing and special events managers and VP of marketing to publish a weekly newsletter promoting events going on Downtown. In addition, I help manage the PDP's social media accounts, which have more than 50,000 followers.

On the events side, I work directly with my supervisors to ensure events run smoothly. Our events range from the Market Square Farmers Market to Yoga in the Square to Rooftop Shindigs. Working closely with PDP's marketing and special events managers has given me a real-world look into what's involved in arts and entertainment management on a daily basis. I'm incredibly grateful to intern in an environment where I'm not only treated as an equal but able to introduce my colleagues to concepts I'm learning in class.

During your college search, what made Point Park University stand out to you?

I originally came to Point Park for the phenomenal acting program. I spent years doing theater at home and went to high school for it. During my first year in the Conservatory of Performing Arts, I became involved with the Campus Activities Board. Within the course of the year, I found a new passion and energy for the business side of the arts and decided to switch majors from acting to SAEM.

The Downtown location of Point Park made it an ideal choice due to the connections and opportunities available being right in the middle of Pittsburgh's phenomenal arts and entertainment culture. Point Park offers a really unique environment and has fostered my academic career in ways I could have never imagined. I've known from the start that this was the right school for me.

How have your SAEM classes helped you in this internship?

My SAEM classes have given me a wealth of practical experiences that have put me ahead of the game. Through my Honors class in event management, I learned how to set up an event timeline, run an event, manage day-of incidents and really think on my feet. In my Marketing for Sports, Arts and Entertainment class, I learned about media relations and how to use social media to market an organization. In addition, the Career Prep class has prepared me for working in a professional office environment and taught me how to market myself and the events I help manage. I now look forward to the nervous energy of the interview process thanks to what I have learned in all of my classes. Networking is something that is really emphasized in the SAEM program.

What are your career goals?

While I'm still trying to figure this out, something that has really stuck with me is being a production manager or running a venue such as Stage AE or the Benedum Center. One of my favorite things about event days is that everyone is counting on you. All the months of hard work and the craziness of a thousand variables come together for an amazing experience that really changes someone for the better.

Any final thoughts?

I wouldn't be where I am now without the supportive family I've found on the Campus Activities Board. We're kind of like our own little events company here on campus. We are given creative control to manage our own events in a way that really ties together what I've been learning in class. Being on CAB has allowed me to work with some of the most driven students on campus and as a result, I've seen my confidence skyrocket.

Photo by Victoria A. Mikula, junior mass communication major

More About: Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School, Honors Program, Campus Activities Board, Downtown Pittsburgh, Internship and Job Fair, Rowland School of Business, sports, arts and entertainment management, internships